Hairdresser in the House

I walked into the kitchen this evening to see this all over the floor...

I almost could not bear to look at Elise, because I didn't know what I was going to see...David saw the look of horror on my face and went white- and I just kept telling myself, "it's just hair, it's not that big of a deal, it's just hair".....you get the point...
Luckily, it could have been much worse...as you can see below it really isn't THAT noticeable (well, it's pretty noticeable, but I am still working on getting over it).

Her explanation? "Mom, I just decided I want short hair."

Anyway, I think she now understands that next time she decides she wants to change her "look", she just needs to tell me and we will come to a compromise. I am actually fine with her having shorter hair, I was just keeping it long until the wedding...the funny thing is that she has always loved her long hair and (prior to tonight) told me she never wanted it cut. She did start to cry a little when what she had done actually sunk in..the permanence of it...But, who knows what goes on in the mind of a three year old. Needless to say, all scissors have now been confiscated and hidden in even higher drawers and cabinets. I am really thankful she didn't try to stylize her brother or sister...whoa....

Off to bed...
Nite, nite!


Prayer Request

David here. I just stumbled across old friends from our Baton Rouge days, Nick and Kami, and Kami is 27 weeks into her QUAD pregnancy! They are calling their crewe the 4Little Lambes http://fourlittlelambes.blogspot.com/ for Nick and Kami Lambe. From their blog it looks like things are going well. Certainly add them to your prayer lists.

Go Meet up with Mo...

..to see lots of pictures from the weekend!


Fun, Fun, Fun

I found this sweet pic of Mimi reading to Elise last week and I had to include it in my post...Elise wasn't feeling well and so Mimi and Grandpa came over here so I wouldn't have to bring her out in the cold..We had a great dinner and then Mimi read some stories to Elise....How sweet....

The past few days have been quite a whirlwind- but in the best way! Mo arrived Wednesday night from Nashville because we had Jared and Erinn's engagement party this weekend. Thursday was Mimi's birthday, so we spent the morning with her and Grandpa and ate lunch at their house...Friday, we took a road trip to Erinn's awesome boutique, Posh, in Baton Rouge and then went to eat with my parents at the Abita Brew Pub (that was QUITE the experience)...Saturday was the party, and we had a great time! I am hoping to get some pictures from Mo, because for once, I forgot my camera!! It was a lot of fun! I loved seeing all of their friends and the family members that were able to make it. Erinn looked GORGEOUS, as usual. Jared is lucky!! (And, so is she, of course!) Grandpa Roland dropped by early Sunday morning to see "his babies" and I remembered to take some pictures...It was great because now that they are getting older they are better about remembering people...Bennett especially remembered Grandpa and ran right to him!

We finished up the weekend with a visit from David's parents on Sunday afternoon and then they took us out to dinner. I think David and I both had to leave the restaurant at least 4 times with a child and that may be the last time we go out to eat for a while. Lila and Bennett love to egg each other on, and once one gets an idea (like throwing food, or screaming at the top of their lungs) the other HAS to join in. Well, anything like that doubled is just pretty attention grabbing and a little embarrassing, to be honest....
David and I were pretty wiped out last night after a jammed packed weekend. But the exhaustion was worth it for the amount of time we got to spend with family and friends!
The wedding countdown begins....
Love, Nicole



My wonderful Aunt K came over yesterday morning to help me out and so I decided to use the opportunity to take Bennett on a little shoe shopping trip while she played with Elise (still not feeling well) and Lila. All three kids are in Jared and Erinn's wedding in March and so I have been getting the outfits together. Bennett needed some shoes...We didn't have any luck, but at one of the stores the super-nice associate offered to measure his foot for me just to make sure I would get him the right size in case I found some online. This turned into quite an embarrassing moment. He removed his size 6 1/2 shoes to measure his foot and tell me that he is actually a 7 1/2 wide!! So, we have basically been cramming his foot into shoes that are too small for a while now! Poor little Bennett! Luckily, I had two pairs of shoes at home in the closet waiting for him (I tend to stock-up when I find an awesome sale- kids shoes are outrageous!) and so I am happy to say my little boy is in shoes that actually fit today!
It was so obvious how completely happy Bennett was to have me all to himself for that hour yesterday. He was a complete angel in every store and when I carried him in (no stroller- I took advantage of being able to hold him!!) he would often lay his head on my shoulder. SOOO SWEET! I am going to try as best as I can to have more one on one time with each of them. It pretty much never happens, but it is a something I am going to work on...

On another note, Bennett has been insisting lately that his two buddies- Mozart the Monkey and "Buddy" (not sure if it is buddy or baby he is saying, but we are going with buddy)- eat breakfast with him...This is him this morning with them crammed into the high chair with him...

Thank heaven for little boys! :)
Happy Wednesday!
Love, Nicole


Under wraps

I am a little post-happy today (my THIRD for the day!)...Guess making up for lost time...Also, working on some stationery and I can do this in between...

As I was feeding the kids dinner tonight and watching Lila and Bennett throw the majority of their food as far as they could across the room I started thinking...why??? Well, more specifically, why are my children such closet-bad-behaviorists (if that isn't a word than I just made it up)??

Last week when Elise was in school I took Lila and Bennett to the indoor playground and met lots of the M.O.M.S there. When it was time for lunch, everyone was commenting on how calm and well behaved my children were as they sat in their chairs (not even high chairs) and quietly and calmly ate their food. I was very thankful for the compliments, and proud of my children's behavior, but the whole time I am thinking- I CANNOT believe this!! WHAT is going on???!!They act like wild animals at home and have contests to see who can throw food, plates, and cups the farthest!!!! If I let them sit at a "real" table at home they would never stay still like that!!!

Lila and Bennett aren't alone in their mischief-under-wraps ploy...Elise is a perfect angel at MDO, in fact (and I quote), her teacher, "wishes she could have a full class of just Elise"...And, although I am thankful every single day for my sweet, unique, smart, and quirky Elise..I also am often challenged by her stubbornness and relentlessness...

And, you know those days, where nothing goes right and noone is in a good mood and you tell your husband and when he comes home all of the sudden everyone turns into little angels with big smiles and a willingness to cooperate and then he is looking at you like you are the biggest exaggerator ever??? (Or, am I the only one this happens to?)

Just some of the thoughts swirling around in my head tonight as I get ready to go clean the pasta remnants off of the floor.....


Thanks to a highly covert search operation by the Kitchen family we now have GiGi back in our possession!! We are so thankful and know that tonight will be a much better night now that Elise doesn't have to survive without her "best friend". All afternoon she was crying, "I can't believe, (sniff, sniff) that....I'll....never....see....Gi....Gi....again...."
The mood has improved greatly over here since then! We are so thankful for their help in her recovery!!

Little glimpse...

We made some progress this weekend on the playroom...It is really coming together and I am SOO glad we made the switch...The space difference is huge. The weather hasn't been that great for getting out, so it is nice to have an area to play where the kids have room to move...
Below you can see some of our new storage (yippee!)...

We are using one whole wall for art display...The side of the refrigerator just isn't big enough anymore! David hung three parallel lines of twine, and we can just clothes pin up the kids artwork! Elise and I found this perfect fabric at the first fabric store we went to for the pillows...the zebra stripe is perfect with the wall color and we have a few animal touches here and there, like our giant giraffe, so it works well...I ordered a fun silhouette from etsy (you can see it on the right side of the blog) and it is going to go in the frame you see resting against the wall..the other piece was an old piece of tin that David's parents gave me, and I had my favorite beach picture framed in it...

Slowly but surely it is coming together....

Elise is a little under the weather and so we are hoping she will be back to herself in no time! She is mostly upset because she left her beloved GiGi at the Dr's office, and so far they can't find her...Keeping my fingers crossed that she'll turn up!
On another note, be sure to check out the "praying for harper" button on the top right and send your prayers that way...
Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend!
Love, Nicole



We are so happy to be back in our normal routine...The Holidays are such a great time of year, but also total chaos! It feels good to be back to a schedule....

We have been doing Wednesday dinner with Mimi and Grandpa over at our house for the past few weeks because they have had major construction going on at their house. They had water damage in their sunroom/den and all of the walls, windows, and floors had to be replaced! Needless to say, it was not the place to be for curious 19 month old twins!

They adore Mimi and Grandpa's big, wide open backyard, and were thrilled to run around yesterday...

Lila brought her hair brush, and kept wanting Grandpa to brush her hair..

Bennett loved playing ring-around-the-rosy with Mimi's petunias!

Lila and Bennett have been upgraded to the "big" table with us. They loved it! Mimi decided they now exceed the weight limit for her antique high chair, so we brought two booster seats over so they could sit with us....

Below you can see the newly remodeled room. It came out great! We also rearranged the furniture into a new configuration and it works really well! I know they are glad to have the mess gone, and we were glad to be able to go back over to their house! On Wednesdays, as soon as the kids wake up they start chanting, "Mimi, Pa-Pa".....They love it!


Adventures in Target

I decided after dropping off E at school today and taking Bennett to get a hair cut (he is slightly resembling Jim Carey from Dumb and Dumber at the moment) that I could brave a quick trip to Target with the dynamic duo. I love Target, and have not been in months. We have not ventured out shopping in a while, and I thought surely it would be better now that they are getting older. Not so much. I can't even really tell you much of what I bought- other than I know I bought three boxes of Gerber graduates-because I had to continually feed them in order to keep them (especially Bennett--surprise, surprise) from climbing out of the basket. I even had one of those super duper baskets that is especially made for two toddlers with the seats facing each other and the harnesses. If the basket stopped for one minute (for me to grab ziploc bags for example) he was out in a flash and running down the aisle! Once I found these adorable-couldn't-be-passed-up gold sandals for Lila she was extremely happy. That girl still loves her shoes and it doesn't look like that will be changing anytime soon! She has had them on since we got home, including for her nap. I tried to take them off and it just wasn't worth it!!!
It actually was a little fun (amazing what I find fun these days!), and since I didn't have anywhere to be until I needed to pick E up, I just kind of went with it and let them have the adventure....
Bennett was so wiped out after Target that he took a little power nap when we got back in the car! I was just glad I didn't take a shower this morning (sorry TMI),because even though it was 50 degrees today I was still sweating like crazy!!

On another note, be sure to click on the "two you" box on the right side and see all of the brilliant new art work that Monique has done for Valentine's Day! She is awesome!!

Can't wait for American Idol tonight!

These are the "pajama bandits"- they grabbed their pj's and ran as I was trying to get them ready for bed. Notice that Lila STILL has the gold sandals on......

I've been tagged by Ashley

Fourth folder, fourth picture.....I think this was sometime right after Lila and Bennett's first birthday...I remember heading to my parents house so that Elise could play in the sprinkler and bring them in the wagon (since they still weren't walking!!) to watch....
My, how things have changed!
Alot of my blogger friends have already been tagged....But, let's see if Nikki and Stella will participate!


Old and New

We had a great weekend filled with lots of "old" and "new"...The "old" was mostly old friends- the best!! On Saturday, 4 of my close friends from college came to Mandeville so we could spend the day together. Theresa and her little cutie pie, John Emerson, were in Baton Rouge visiting her parents and drove over, Cindy her adorable daughter Lilly Grace came in from Gulfport, Shelley came over from New Orleans, and Kate and Myrt made the short trip as well! I was so excited to get to meet John Emerson in person, and to see how much Lilly Grace had grown since the last time I saw her. She and Elise had a blast playing together- it was like they weren't even here! We all had a lot of fun catching up and just hanging out spending time together!

Myrt (aka "squirt" b/c she is such a tiny little thing) and Bennett making music with some frying pans...

Cindy and John Emerson....

Lilly Grace and Elise dressing up and cooking for us...I am hoping to get some more pictures from Kate, because she did a better job getting pics of everyone.
The "new" on Saturday was David's first time to go kayak fishing. Nick, Kate's husband, took him out so they could have some guy time while all of us hung out at the house. David could not stop talking about how much fun he had and what a nice guy Nick is. They even caught us dinner! Nick was nice enough to take over the kitchen and clean and cook the fish they caught! David made sure we knew that he caught the biggest one!
On Sunday, we had some more "old", and were able to see Mitchell Rue be baptized at our church. Aimee and Michael have decided to join and so we are excited about that. He was a perfect angel throughout the whole service and never made a peep! Even when the water was poured over his head! It is such a special day and we were happy to be able to share in it.
After church I got to work painting the "old" playroom in order to make it Lila and Bennett's "new" room. It is so small that it really didn't take me long at all, even two coats. We left the windows open all day and felt that the smell was gone enough to move them in last night. So, that is done. I have alot of work to do in the playroom, but it will probably just have to be done slowly over time....but the space difference is amazing, and the kids are all so excited!
Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend as well!! Extra special Happy Birthday (Jan 11) to Dianne!! Wish I could have been their to celebrate with you! I hope you had a blast!
Love, Nicole



Thanks for 9 years...

And the journey continues...
I won't go all crazy sentimental, but just know how thankful I am for you and for our life together...You are the perfect partner, and the perfect Dad to our children. You are the best at making it known that we are your first priority, and we all love you.
(Apparently, we did not think it was necessary to have a camera for the first 6 years of our marriage- until Elise came along....)
Happy Anniversary!


Climbing, Moving, and Rearranging

Can you believe this sweet face could be a little trouble-maker?? Well, he has been keeping us on our toes...He has had several incidents of climbing half way out of his crib in the past few days, and getting stuck in between the wall and the crib...Hard to explain, but very scary. It got to the point where I was basically just staring at the video monitor until he was all the way asleep because I was so afraid he was going to literally hang himself. I was researching crib tents, and trying to figure out what to do (NOT ready to have them in toddler beds yet!), when I realized the answer was right in front of me. We were lucky enough to borrow a crib from our good friends the LeBlanc's, and Lila has been in it from the beginning...Looking at it yesterday before naps, I realized that it is actually deeper than our crib...In addition, Lila is now almost 2 inches shorter than Bennett- so, she would definitely be safe in our crib!! Yeah!! So, last night we did the big switcheroo...Bennett was not a happy camper when he realized that he could not escape his bed anymore! But, David and I slept much more soundly!!

In addition, David and I have been brainstorming about ways to make our house "work" better for us...We really don't need anymore square footage (nor do I want to attempt to keep more space clean!), but the downstairs has just been feeling so cluttered and there are toys in every room. Even the dining room! There needs to be SOME adult space!
Well, we are really excited with what we decided to do. Lila and Bennett have been sharing the biggest bedroom upstairs. The reason we put them in that room was because I wanted to have a rocking chair and a changing table in the room with them...Well now that they are pretty impossible to keep on a changing table, and because we rarely rock them, we've decided they don't need all of that space when all they basically do is sleep in their room. So, we are moving them into the tiny room that we have been trying to use as a playroom (without much success- way too small) and converting their room into a big playroom! I'm going to paint the old playroom the same color soft blue (that I stole from the Brister's-LOVE it) that their bedroom is...Then the two rooms will be the same color and everything will flow...Plus, that way I can use their same bedding, etc...The little room is just big enough for two cribs and the rocker, and NOTHING else...Our changing table converts into a dresser/tv stand, so we will continue to use that in the new play room...In addition, we have an adorable child size armoire that was David's when he was a child that is PERFECT for dress-up storage, and I found this EXACT table (in espresso finish) at a consignment store for less than 1/3 of the sale price at pkids! Thought it would be perfect for trains, tea parties, and art projects!!!

Our one big purchase is some wall storage with doors and baskets...But, we measured everything and made sure this is something that could stay in the room if we eventually want to give each of the kids their own room, and it is something that we could take with us if we ever do move...And lastly, I am going to pull the sewing machine out of the closet and attempt to make some cozy floor pillows (cannot BELIEVE how expensive those can be!) for the floor! As you can tell, I am very, very excited about the change and think the kids are going to love having more space! In a perfect world, we would love to have this on the first story of our house, but we have just decided to focus on what we have and how we can better use it, instead of wishing for more! I'll post some pictures when the project is done!
On a more serious note, please keep my brother (aka Uncle Jared) in your prayers, like so many peoples' companies, his is going through lay offs right now. We are just praying that his job will be ok..I know he is stressing as he is getting married in less than 3 months!
Have a good week...
Love, Nicole


Answers Anyone?

A strange phenomenon has been occurring in the Parnell household lately...A few nights ago, David and I finished up bathing the kids and headed into Lila and Bennett's room to put them to bed. As we walked down the short hallway we noticed the Ipod in their room started playing their lullabies. Elise does know how to work it, but she was still in the bathroom...David reacted right away, saying,"Whoa, how did that happen?" When he said that, it reminded me that it had actually happened a few days before at nap time as I corralled the three munchkins up the stairs. Like many things that go unnoticed these days (like a poor dead raccoon in my car- but that's a story for another day) I had put it in the back of my mind, but when it happened again I really started thinking...Then today, I had a really busy morning...took the kids on their first play date in weeks (everyone is well!) and then swung by to visit Mimi and Grandpa...We were a little past our pretty set in stone 1 o'clock nap time, and so Bennett fell asleep as we pulled onto our street...I left the girls buckled in their seats in the garage and carried him in...As I walked up the stairs carrying him, the lullabies started playing again on their own. SERIOUSLY. I don't know if my complete submersion in the Twilight series has me imagining the impossible, or if my Grandma is just trying to give me a little help from Heaven, but whatever is going on, it is definitely making my mind race. If it is a ghost, must be a friendly one, trying to help me out!
If the toys start putting themselves up on their own I'll let ya'll know...(How cool would that be?)

Night Night!


Happy New Year

Below are a few of my favorite pictures from the last few days:

Chef Lila taking her baby on a walk...

Little cutie pie...

Performing Itsy Bitsy Spider for Mimi and Grandpa...

Bennett in Grandpa's shoes...

We have had a low key New Years Eve and New Years...I am so grateful that David was able to take off both days, so we have spent lots of time together as a family...Unfortunately, Lila had a brief recurrence of RSV with fever a few nights ago, so we have been hanging out at home so she could feel better, and to make sure we didn't spread the "fun". Luckily she bounced back very quickly this time and is back to her normal fun self!
I started off the morning with a run outside (I'm more of a treadmill girl) with Suzanne- she is the best motivator! So, that felt great even though it was tough! The kids had a good time watching the Rose Parade for a little while this morning, and have been pretty happy to just stay home and play with their new toys...David has been very patient with me as I am having a hard time pulling myself away from the final book in the Twilight series. I think he is kicking himself for getting me the series for Christmas, because I have had my nose in a book ever since! I love to read, and I have enjoyed them sooo much. He overdid it this year with gifts for me, and I am so thankful...I think he was just a little surprised that the books are one of my favorite!

We have had a very blessed 2008 and are looking forward to see what 2009 will bring! Happy New Year everyone!

Also, big congrats to Therese and Bush who got engaged last night! We are so happy for you both! Now, THAT is a great way to start off the new year!